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Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.- John 12:11 (KJV)

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus.  He emerged from the grave and lived on.  His living was not in vain by any means.  Surely, Lazarus lived on as a testimony of the very power of Jesus.

The Gospel of John speaks of Jesus as deity, as God, and as part of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus demonstrated His power in raising Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus’ life testified about the power of Jesus over the grave simply by his living.  It is said that many believed on Jesus because of him.  The people came not  just to see Jesus but to also see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead  (John 12:9, KJV).   Even the chief priests sought to kill Lazarus, according to John 12:10.

How live our lives will serve as a testimony to others.  Some will accept it and embrace us.  Others will reject it and seek to diminish our testimony.  Just live it out in faith.  Someone will see what the Lord has done in your life.  Perhaps, after they hear your life’s story and your testimony, they will seek the Lord for themselves and allow Him to enter into their heart.

 

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“Just as Christ demonstrated God’s love, believers are to demonstrate to the world Christ’s love.” – Andrew Murray

Take a long, hard look at how we love others.  Look at how we love the “world.” Do we show love to others? Do we share our love with others? See if we are offering the love of Christ to people freely and unconditionally.

People learn about Christ from us as believers.  They see our lights shining in the midst of the storm and approach us, seeking safety and security.  What they discover is that we are not the true Light.  The Light is Jesus Christ.  We are merely to serve as reflections of the Light, so that others will come seeking out such a life in the glorious light.

Make today the day where you go forward with love.  Show your love towards others.  Share your love with others.  Let love serve as your purpose for interacting with others today.  You can love someone without expecting anything in return except that they come closer to seeing the Light.

Books for Showing the Greatest Love of All

 

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And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;  Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.  And he taught daily in the temple. . . Luke 19:45-48 (KJV)

I am a royal mess.  I mean it.  I literally keep my desk, car and “area” of the house a real mess.  I’m just messy and unorganized.

I keep things in an uproar.  Chaos is essentially where I thrive.  I keep mounds of paperwork (who said automation is modern) and I am not thrown off when things are not altogether “in order.” Yet, I live and work with orderly people who care enough to share with me how bad I can be while exercising my lived-in practices.  I decided during this long weekend to do something about me and my mess.

(What does that have to do with Jesus and casting folks out of the temple?)

Just like Jesus, I had to go into where the mess existed.  Jesus had to go to where it was and do something about it right in the midst of it.  Jesus spoke out against all that He saw going on there. (In fact, the disciple whom He loved adds some details about Him making a whip for driving folks out of the temple.[John 2:15]) I won’t dare repeat the things that came to mind, but the closest I can get is mea culpa.  (Oh, Lord, help me and have mercy today.)

Jesus got up close and personally involved in cleansing the temple.  He spoke out against the “swap meet” for God’s people in God’s house, referencing two major prophets – Isaiah and Jeremiah. (Uh Oh, those are some powerful prophets!) Needless to say, as I got deeper into clean-up time, I wasn’t quoting the Scriptures as much as I could hear my grandmother’s voice in the back of my mind saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” (Really? Is that so? I could argue against her theology but I respect the deceased and I think she probably would have a better perspective on it than I would.  You think?)

Okay. Where was I ? (You know I said I am unorganized.) Anyhow, it’s like Jesus when I get to moving and ordering things around.  I changed the entire environment.  I can’t say that I did everything that I need to do, but I definitely made some real, genuine progress. 

Jesus taught in the temple.  That goes along with His proclamation as a “house of prayer.”  Here’s the real deep part for you.  I didn’t teach as much as I learned.  You see, I learned that my mess was interfering with the “pursuit of happiness”  [Not the Will Smith flick with his son; that was the Pursuit of Happyness, I believe] for my family and people who I work with (when I “work”).  It also let me know that if my daughter didn’t have to ride in my car, she would gladly ride in something else.  I learned how being me and letting things go and get out hand can lead to me hurting others.  That is not good.  That is not a Christ-like existence.  I had to make a change to make my relationships better off.  I will definitely keep you posted. (Keep me in prayer.)

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For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. . . Mark 14:39 (ESV)

Things are out of balance. The poor seem to continue to get poorer. Look at what the government is telling us about our national deficit and bailouts as well as restructuring organizations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Even Ben Bernanke can’t seem to explain what is going on.  Don’t seek any insights from Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet either.  Look at what the Lord says.

The poor will be in our midst always.  Jesus put in real simple terms for us: “…whenever you want, you can do good for them…” That’s what we have to focus on today.  Those of us who can make a difference will need to step up and make a difference as the Lord directs us.  It came about in the days of Micah, men doing whatever they pleased while their neighbors suffered and struggled.   Haggai preached against such selfishness.  Many of the prophets spoke against it.  Let us do what we can based upon God’s leading and directing us.  Let us live like vessels that He pours into with His Spirit and pours out upon those in need of a spiritual uplift as we seek to meet their needs.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 (NLT)

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Praise be to God,
       who has not rejected my prayer
       or withheld his love from me!-
Psalm 66:20 (NIV)

It is easy to see that we need to praise God for what He has done in our lives.  That’s pretty much a given.  We pay homage to God with honor and glory and show Him reverence that is due to His mighty and powerful name as Lord, Creator and the Almighty.  We should praise the Lord.  He deserves our praise for all that He has done, reserving all of His blessings and benefits on our behalf.

But do we remember to praise God for what He has not allowed?

Thank Him.  Praise Him.  Let it be known to the worldGod didn’t allow something to happen that could have happened, so let your voices lift up praises to the Lord.  Praise God for what He has not allowed to happen to you.  Remember that He could have rejected you or held His love back from you.  Yet, He did not allow such things to happen to you. 

Praise Him!!

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Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.-Matthew 5:16

Jesus talks about sharing and showing our light as he calls us the “light of the world” in Matthew 5:14-16. He shares that a lit candle is not lit to be hidden but to shed light on all that is around it. He expressly states that we should let our light shine before men for a two-point purpose:
1) Men are to see your good works
2) Men will glorify God

Ministry has the ultimate purpose of glorifying God. Guess what? When you do your good works, you are letting your light shine before men just as Jesus shared for us to do as the light of the world. However, when these men see your good works, they won’t give you the glory. No, they will see your good works and give glory to the One who provided the light. They will give praises to the Lord who caused us to let our lights shine before men in the first place.
Share it and show it.
Let your light shine.

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Have you ever read Malachi? No, I mean have you really taken the time to read and understand the issues that came up and went down during this last Old Testament book of the Bible? What you see is the people’s frustration with the church officials and the church’s corruption along with the people’s resolution, and then God has to step in between them both to settle the matter.  God puts it down and states His case, and that’s that.  That’s final.  No need to question it or ask about it.  God said it and it’s over and done with for real.  Then, all of a sudden, God stops speaking.  It’s hundreds of years before we get another word from God.  Prophets no longer prophesise of coming events and the man of God doesn’t seem to carry that special quality of the Word of God.  All of a sudden it is chic to quote the Scriptures since nothing new is being said.  Suddenly, there is birthed a new reliance upon the prophet’s word about the Messiah.  Almost overnight, Moses, Joel, David, Isaiah, and Jonah become biblical superstars in the darkest of times because God is no longer speaking to His chosen people.  It is as if the people had to move beyond the silence in order to discover what God had really meant for them to hear and understand all of those prior generations.  It’s a shame what we do that causes God to use extreme meausres, even silence for hundreds of years.

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